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By KIMBERLY DAVIS kdavis@leader.net

Friday, August 22, 2003     Page: 5

Patter songs. A trademark of the Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. They're those tongue-twisting, rhythmic ditties that increase in speed - and difficulty. Who can forget this little challenge from ``Pirates of Penzance'':
    I am the very model of a modern major general.
    I've information vegetable, animal and mineral
    This weekend several of patter songs will be part of a musical revue opening at the Music Box Dinner Playhouse titled ``Innocent Merriment: The Music of Gilbert & Sullivan.''
    ``There are so many delightful high points,'' said Michael Gallagher, general manager of the Music Box.
    Personally, he likes ~``The Ghosts' High Noon'' from ``Ruddigore.'' The revue will showcase songs from Gilbert & Sullivan's first operetta, ``Trial By Jury,'' as well as numbers from ``H.M.S. Pinafore,'' ``The Mikado,'' ``Pirates of Penzance'' and more.
    The revue is written and directed by Kevin Costley with musical direction by Linda Houck. A dozen cast members will lend their voices to ``Innocent Merriment,'' which promises fun for the entire family.
    The revue opens at 8 tonight at Music Box Dinner Playhouse, 196 Hughes St., Swoyersville. Additional performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday and 3:15 p.m. Sunday. Dinner is served 90 minutes before showtime. Cost for dinner and the revue is $25. Tickets to the show only are $14. For information, call 283-2195.
    What kind of theater would tempt this weekend? Comedies, cabarets and free plays for the children are among the choices.
    ``Tell Me the Truth About Love,'' a cabaret performance by actress/singer Evangelia Kingsley accompanied by pianist Nobuko Amemiya, will be presented at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Everhart Museum, Nay Aug Park, Scranton. Ticket price of $75 includes a wine-and-cheese reception and post-concert aperitifs, coffee and desserts. Proceeds from the performance benefit the Northeast Theatre. For more information, call 945-6976.
    Corner Bistro Dinner Theater will present ``Damn Yankees,'' a musical about a baseball player who trades his soul to the devil so his team will win the pennant. The home opener is at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The show continues at 5 p.m. Sunday, at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 28 and 30, and at 5 p.m. Aug. 31. Ticket price is $25 and includes a buffet dinner. The Corner Bistro Dinner Theater is at 76-78 S. Main St., Carbondale. For tickets or more information call 282-7499.
    The comedy ``Plaza Suite,'' will be presented at 7 tonight and Saturday at the Pennsylvania Theatre for the Performing Arts, Community Arts Center, 161 N. Laurel St., Hazleton. Optional dinner is served at 5:30 p.m. The show continues at 7 p.m. Aug. 29-30. Tickets for the performance only are $14, and $7 for children. Reservations for the dinner and show are $25, and $15 for children. For reservations or information, call 454-5451.
    ~~``Jack and the Beanstalk,'' a production by the Back Mountain Children's Theatre Company, will be presented Sunday as part of Arts at Hayfield, Penn State's summer festival on the Lehman Campus. The show begins at 2:30, and admission is free. Blanket seating near the stage is available for children, with seats in the rear for adults. For more information call 675-4333.
    Ritz Company Playhouse, 512 Keystone St., Hawley, will present the comedy ``Your Flake or Mine,'' today through Sunday at 8 p.m. Performances continue at 8 p.m. Aug. 29-30 and Sept. 5-6 and at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 31. Tickets are $10. For more information, call 226-9752.
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